A middle-class reads Käsemann

“… in our country [Germany] the gospel has been preserved only to the extent that Pietism carried on the Reformation. We have occasion to be thankful to it and wish it well. We should, of course, not overlook the fact that this Pietism, especially in our country, has been infected with the illness of the evangelical church within the area of the white race. In this area Christianity has become so middle class that other levels of society scarcely cooperate actively with the church or are to be observed at worship. From of old the characteristic of the middle class was the will to possess, to protect and to preserve. The middle-class church is oriented to be the affluent society, since it too proclaims the right to property and resolutely defends its possessions from foreign seizure. In a certain sense Christians have now become the protagonists of the capitalistic economy dominant in white society. They not only defend their little house and account at the bank but also their religious, ideological, and moral property. They so energetically affirm the resurrection because above all else the bourgeois want to live on and thus they must outlive even the grave. In this way those in possession come into conflict not only with communists but with God and his gospel, which never becomes our inalienable possession, which always lies ahead and must be seized ever anew.” (Ernst Käsemann, On Being a Disciple of the Crucified Nazarene, p. 54-55)


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